The talks about the spirit of the game have reignited yet again as on Day 5 of the Lord’s Test in the ongoing Ashes series, England wicketkeeper-bat Jonny Bairstow’s carelessness cost him his wicket, which turned out to be a vital moment as Australia clinched a 43-run victory. After the 52nd over, Bairstow left his crease without indicating to the wicketkeeper or the umpires or confirming whether the ball was still in play or not. Australia appealed, and Bairstow was declared out after Alex Carey took a straight hit.
After this dismissal, a huge debate sparked among fans about whether it was within the spirit of the game or not. The players were criticized by MCC members in the hallway for going to the dressing room where Australians were referred to as cheaters. Carey was aware enough to make a throw while the ball was still in play, catching the batter short. After cricketers, supporters, and viewers disagreed about the decision to dismiss Bairstow, a fan tagged Ravichandran Ashwin to add him to the discussion.
Despite playing by the rules, Ashwin, who has been the target of countless “Spirit of Cricket” disputes, had something to say about the situation. He said that Carey should be commended rather than the conversation turning to unfair play.
Taking to Twitter, Ashwin wrote, “We must get one fact loud and clear. The keeper would never have a dip at the stumps from that far out in a test match unless he or his team have noticed a pattern of the batter leaving his crease after leaving a ball like Bairstow did. We must applaud the game smarts of the individual rather than skewing it towards unfair play or spirit of the game,” Ashwin told.
Here is Ravichandran Ashwin’s tweet
We must get one fact loud and clear
“The keeper would never have a dip at the stumps from that far out in a test match unless he or his team have noticed a pattern of the batter leaving his crease after leaving a ball like Bairstow did.”
We must applaud the game smarts of… https://t.co/W59CrFZlMa
— Ashwin 🇮🇳 (@ashwinravi99) July 2, 2023
In the post-match interview also, the Australian captain Pat Cummins referred to what Ashwin had said, stating that Carey had caught it a few balls earlier, it was within the rules, and it was totally fair. With that victory, Australia now lead the series 2-0, meaning the hosts must win all three games to regain the urn or else the visitors would retain it.